Smith New Court leaps ahead to pounds 38m
Smiths increased the dividend by a third to 6p and announced a pounds 41.2m cash call to fund its businesses worldwide.
In the second half the firm made pounds 32m profit against pounds 6.7m at the interim stage. The advance was partly attributed to the recovery in stock market activity during the period.
Michael Marks, group chief executive, said second-half profits had been earned across a number of deals. The shares rose from 250p to 285p.
Return on capital rose from 17.5 per cent to 28 per cent.
Earnings per share increased by 118 per cent to 36.2p, and Smiths took the opportunity to raise pounds 41.2m through a two-for-seven rights issue at 210p.
Mr Marks said the proceeds would be used as 'working capital to be handed out to our existing businesses where and when it is needed'.
The rights issue will reduce the stake of the Swiss-based Rothschild holding company from 37 to 26 per cent on a fully diluted basis and that of the Carl Marks family. The NM Rothschild stake will remain the same.
The surplus shares will be placed with a dozen institutions. Smiths expects that about 60 per cent of the equity will end up with institutional holders.
The firm did particularly well last year trading securities in the Far East and selling international stocks to US clients.
There were strong rumours in the City yesterday that Smiths, with a number of other stockbrokers, was about to set up an alternative stock market for smaller companies following the abolition of the USM last autumn.
But Mr Marks dismissed the suggestions as 'a lot of waffle', adding: 'We are certainly not involved in any talks on this.'
Smiths took over market-making for more than 200 small companies last year and now makes markets in more than 1,300 UK equities.
View from City Road, page 26
- 2 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 3 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
#JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
UK election candidates: 'Nasty party' Ukip faces fresh questions on eve of vote
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party's the right choice for you
Ohio 'Shawshank Redemption' fugitive Frank Freshwater arrested after 56 years on the run
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General election live: Booths open at 7am across the country on polling day
iJobs Money & Business
£35 - 40k: Guru Careers: Our client has a new role for a Digital Marketing Exe...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...